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    A couple of new articles about Torchlight 2 invoke the inevitable comparisons to D3. Two good bits from this IGN piece, both quoting Max Schaefer:

    He says, “Back in the day, when we would sell a $60-dollar box, by the time the money came back to us, it would be maybe $14 dollars a copy. And that’s what we get nowadays on Steam, selling a digital download version for $20. So from our perspective, we’re as viable and as profitable as an independent developer used to be selling $60 boxes. “We’re bypassing the publisher and box distribution and that lets us bring a $60 game to people for $20.

    …Schaefer does offer a critique of the way Diablo III dealt with character development and skills customization. “Some of the criticism of Diablo III was about how there isn’t really a lot of differentiation between builds of a character, because they all unlock the same skills at the same time. There’s less of an opportunity to make a character that’s truly individual for you. I think that could have the possibility of reducing longevity, because once you’ve played through it with a character, there’s no particular reason to go through and try a different build.

    Back in the day, yes. Now in the day, Blizzard sells millions of digital download for $60, and those are straight from their own servers; they don’t even have to share profits with Steam…

    Elsewhere, a trolling piece from The Examiner compares TL2 to D3 and says that they both suck.

    With a huge outpouring of merchandise and fan-dom for these two games one has to wonder, ‘What’s the big deal about hack and slash games?’.

    The hack and slash genre has brought us mediocre story-lines, needless gore, and a lot or replay value. It’s no wonder why the original two “Diablo” games were so successful when the PC video game market was smaller and Blizzard was establishing its place at the top of the industry. Blizzard makes quality games that stand the test of time and has garnered them a very loyal fan base. So perhaps the hype over “Diablo III” was primarily due to nostalgia.

    …The hack and slash genre doesn’t hold a candle to many other modern games when it comes to the fine points of story structure, immersion, combat systems etc. The genre is more about abnegation than innovative game-play or technology. Playing a few hours of “Diablo” is like turning on a reality TV show while you cook dinner. It’s something to help you de-stress and keep you vaguely occupied with little thought or skill.

    I have to assume that some editor at The Examiner thought, “How can we troll some hate? I know, let’s assign someone who hasn’t played a second of D3 or TL2, and who hates ARPG games in general, to write a piece comparing them!” Stupid, and yet genius since it’s created a lot of links in, even if 99% of them are hate-driven.

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